Episode 213: Show Notes
On today’s show we welcome Dr. Rachel L. Alan. Dr. Rachel is a licensed clinical psychologist with over a decade of experience supporting people to take inspired action to connect to self-discovery. She focuses on healing, cultivating healthy habits and enhancing self-wellness, balance and living life passionately. This episode is pretty close to an actual therapy session for us! But we know that so many of you out there struggle with these types of issues too and will be able to relate in one way or another. Health and wellness is something we speak about a lot on the show, given the challenges we have had had with our own health and wellness – physically, emotionally and mentally.
Today, we dive into some of the common choices that a lot of us out there make around food and setting boundaries, especially as women business owners. If you are struggling with setting boundaries with yourself and with others, or with under-eating, over-eating, binge eating, snacking and are just trying to get your life in balance, we think you will find this episode really beneficial. These often deeply ingrained habits can leak into our business and into our personal lives and we need to question the root of our unhealthy habits before we can even begin to create healthier new ones. It’s important to know that you are not alone out there and taking a listen to this episode might just be the step you need to take toward having more control in your life!
Setting Healthy Boundaries For Healthy Relationships
How can we go about setting healthier boundaries in our lives, especially as women? Boundaries are limits. They’re the things that make us say, “Okay, enough is enough!” “I need space.” “This is too much.” Ultimately, we all want to be validated and understood. When we are working from home, for example, people might not really understand what that means or they might have an idea of this that may not be accurate. It is really important to fill people in on what we need from them to feel supported. This is very much aligned with how we set boundaries and how we ask for what we need from friends, family, colleagues, bosses, all those around us.
Boundaries are so connected to our sense of worth and sometimes articulating our needs to those around us, is the first step to setting healthy boundaries and opening up better communication channels. Often times, our needs don’t line up with those we love. For Abbie, for example, she loves to work in all of her free time, and her husband often wants just thirty minutes of her undivided attention. This can lead to tension in relationships.
So how do we navigate those difficult conversations when your needs are not matching up with your partner or your friends? At the end of the day, it comes down to prioritizing. Do you prioritize your work or your marriage, or your friendships? You have to know when to prioritize your loved ones and when to compromise and sacrifice your time for them. Having the work life you want and the partnerships you want can both exist in balance. It’s all up to the choices you make.
The Endless Struggle With Food And Finding A Food & Workout Balance
Emylee has struggled with food for the most of her life. She has struggled with binge eating, hyper-focused over-exercising, unhealthy food, and workout patterns and cycles. In one way or another, many women out there have an unhealthy relationship with food. Dr. Rachel thinks that so many of us could benefit by really trying to understand our own relationship with food. For Emylee, balance has been something that has been very difficult to achieve. Emylee’s food struggle stems from her childhood years when she wanted to get attention from her parents during the difficult period of their divorce and moving around. Although she has a great relationship with her parents today, habitually some of those poor food choices and cycles still get made. What happens to us when we are kids plays such a pivotal role in who we are as adults and what we expect from others.
This stuff gets deeply programmed into these core places inside of us and if left unexamined, we are just going to operate from that place. In times of high stress, we need to really connect with our body, trust what our body needs and listen to it. But this takes work and it takes some trial and error to find what works for us. For Emylee, this could mean really looking into nutritional science, exploring new meals that satisfy her and exploring the thoughts she tells herself about food and working out. Food, for people who work from home, there’s a lot to unpack because there’s a lot of meals that we skip, there’s a lot of snacking that happens and there’s a lot more excuses we make for eating out, just so we can leave the house! It’s almost easier to make poor decisions when left to our own devices in the home space. The awareness around your patterns is such a good place to start because that way you can make deliberate, intentional changes. Again, this takes practice and prioritizing your meal planning. We need routine, but we also need newness and novelty. So, shake it up and don’t allow yourself to get too stuck in your ways and habits!
Comfort Eating And Breaking Those Deeply Ingrained Coping Mechanisms
Abbie, on the other hand, has a sort of mindless relationship with food. Although she once had a pickle binge (funny story), her breakfast, lunch and dinner is all pretty reasonable. But then 8pm rolls around and her sweet tooth kicks in like a monster... Ice-cream, chocolate, all the things. As a kid, Abbie used to sneak a lot of food and this sneakiness evoked a lot of fear and shame. Again, our childhood eating habits play a big role in our eating habits today and it’s about breaking these long standing patterns. For Abbie, there is still a lot of secrecy and indulgences around these things. These indulgences could be comforting her in some way – but what is underneath that? This is definitely bigger than a craving for Abbie. It’s not a necessity. She is never really hungry enough to warrant those late night sweet snacks.
During the day she seems to have a bit more control of her snacking and unhealthy eating but at night she kind of seems to give up.
It is not uncommon for people to use food as a source of comfort, but what is positive is that Abbie does recognize this. It is important for Abbie to look at what safety means for her now, today. Where does she really feel that safety and comfort? Outside of food. We need to ensure that we start to de-program these patterns and coping mechanisms we had when we were younger. Food is a uniquely challenging addiction that a lot of people face because you always need food. You need food to survive and it is compounded by our culture and how much we use food to connect. So, we need to lay some compassion on ourselves that this is really hard and know that there is support for these kinds of things. Talking about it is a great first step, is very admirable and can help others to talk about it too. You are not alone!
- Setting Healthy Boundaries For Healthy Relationships. [0:04:15.1]
- The Endless Struggle With Food And Finding A Food & Workout Balance. [0:19:22.1]
- Comfort Eating And Breaking Those Deeply Ingrained Coping Mechanisms. [0:36:00.1]
- Investigate what your true authentic needs are.
- What are you willing to do to enhance the likelihood that your needs will be met?
- Be willing to express your needs and where your needs are not being met.